Counselor Resources

Hello Counselor colleagues! 

We are grateful for your partnership throughout the year as you guide your students throughout their college process.  Please meet the Admission & Financial Aid Team. We’re happy to chat about a specific student who might be a good fit for Olin – or to answer questions about our application process or unique impact-centered curriculum.  Please email us at or reach out to the admission counselor responsible for your part of the world.  

Please join our counselor contact list to receive our Counselor Newsletter as well as occasional updates and announcements about Olin.   

Counselor FAQs

We don’t have any early deadlines. There’s one deadline for all applications, and this year is it January 4, 2023. 

At Olin, we have a two-part application process. Please see our application requirements for details. We require senior grades – that is, grades or a progress report for the first marking period of the student’s senior year – prior to making an admission decision. 

Candidates’ Weekends are the second part of our two-part application process. We are thrilled to announce that after two years of virtual programming due to the COVID pandemic, we are returning to our in-person format for CW 2023.  Candidates’ Weekends (CW) will be held on: 

  • CW1 – Friday, February 17 to Saturday, February 18 

  • CW2 – Friday, February 24 to Saturday, February 25 

  • CW3 – Friday, March 3 to Saturday, March 4 

Students will be notified of their Candidate status in early February.  Participation in CW is required to continue to be considered for admission to Olin.   

Admission decisions are posted at the end of March on the Candidate Portal.  Students will receive an email letting them know that they should check their portal! 

We are test-optional for the 2022-23 application cycle.  Students may elect to submit SAT or ACT scores to supplement their application file.  Students choosing to submit may self-report their scores. We use scores, if submitted, in conjunction with a holistic review of the high school transcript, in which we consider grades and curricular rigor in light of the academic offerings available to the student.  

We do not have a separate application for international students.  International applicants who submit the ACT or the SAT as part of their application are not required to submit the results of an English proficiency test as well. Students who do not submit either the SAT or the ACT must submit results of an English proficiency exam such as TOEFL, ILETS or Duolingo when applying to Olin.  Students who attend schools where English is the primary language of instruction are not required to submit test results.

We don’t have a formal transfer process at Olin. We frequently receive applications from students who have taken some college courses, and sometimes from students who have studied for a semester or a year at another institution. Everyone applies to Olin as a first-year student with the expectation that they will spend four years completing their degree. Students may petition the registrar credit for classes taken elsewhere only after matriculation. 

We are returning to in person recruitment this fall to meet with counselors, students, and families. Check and see if we are coming somewhere near you. If we can’t include your location in our plans, we are happy to connect virtually with you and your students. Please reach out to your territory manager to schedule a call or virtual high school visit.

We look for a rigorous college preparatory curriculum including coursework in all academic areas including writing intensive courses in humanities and social sciences, in addition to a comprehensive background in mathematics and sciences.  All students must have taken Calculus and Physics or be taking those courses in the first semester of their senior year.   

Olin is proud of our robust financial support for students which includes the Olin Tuition Merit Scholarship, awarded to all admitted students, as well as our commitment to meet full demonstrated financial need for US citizens and permanent residents. We are need-blind in our application review process. 

In our holistic admission process, letters of recommendation from counselors and teachers provide context and insight that are not available elsewhere in the application file.  Our application readers shared some feedback about what they found most helpful:   

  • I find a counselor’s letter particularly useful when it includes information that the student did not already discuss in the application or goes into a depth of detail that illuminates something the student glossed over.  For example, sometimes a counselor can convey the depth of leadership a student displayed in a club, which may not be apparent from the student’s simple list.  Sometimes, also, counselors provide contextual information that the student did not, about the student’s background and family or about the reasons why a student’s transcript looks the way it does.
  • A description of ways in which the student has made an impact on their community or environment is particularly helpful.  At Olin, we expect students to engage fully in the community, and each student is more than 1% of their class!  Here’s an example: “this is the first year we are running an AP Computer Science course because Jackie and her friends petitioned the school to add the class” or “Jimmy started an environmental campaign/club at our school and now we have recycling bins in every classroom” or “Jared volunteers his time in our IT department and has helped to troubleshoot numerous issues for teachers and students.” 
  • Anecdotes! It is much more helpful to have a couple of anecdotes that give me a snapshot of who the student is as a human than anything else you could possibly put in a recommendation. The more specific the anecdotes, the better. Bring me into that moment. When you think of the student, what is the memory or the story that comes to mind? What did that student do or say that you just had to share with your colleagues or with your family? It is nice to have a balance of anecdotes: academic (I don’t really care what the task was, but rather how did they approach it, what questions did they ask, how did they interact with others, how did they deal with a setback, etc.?), social (a story that shows me what they bring to the community, what kind of friend or leader they are, etc.), and personal anecdotes (stories about their personal life that would help me get a better sense of them—maybe they have an uncommonly long commute to get to school, maybe they have family or home responsibilities that other students don’t have, maybe they are working on a super cool personal project, maybe they have an interesting hobby, maybe they did something notable at their part-time job). It’s okay to not cover everything that’s great about the student (I’d rather have a few quality anecdotes than an exhaustive list of qualities/accomplishments). And again, it’s really okay for them to not all be school-related.